Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Magnificent Trio (1966)

Starring Wang Yu, Lo Lieh and Cheng Lei. This was the first time I saw Cheng Lei played the main role. Usually he only played supporting characters.

Wang Yu played Lu Fang, the grandson of a famous Ming general, who had broken the encirclement (at war front) and came to Mati village, where he saw a young woman was taken to a mill.

It was the Mati's head village who kidnapped the magistrate's daughter and kept her in the mill. The villagers wanted the magistrate to cut their provisions. The county magistrate forced them for provisions [although the imperial court had exempted their provision]. There was a war and the villagers had no food.

Minister Yuan would pass by in 2-3 days and the head village had written a petition, reporting the corruption of the magistrate. So the magistrate must have taken care of the matter before the minister arrived.

Instead of giving what the villagers had demanded, the magistrate hired  a killer and freed bandits from his jail so they could work for him.  Why the magistrate didn't simply give  the villagers what they demanded? They only wanted the magistrate not to take their food. They were poor and the food collected from them should not be much. Yet the magistrate chose to spend money from his treasury to hire the bandits. Furthermore, the outcome was unpredictable, even dangerous, because bandits were not reliable.

Master Yan and Huang Liang
The head village had a daughter and the magistrate's men took her to the mill, to exchange her with the magistrate's daughter. In this incident, the head village's daughter died, the magistrate's daughter was freed, and Lu Fang gave himself up to the magistrate's men in exchange for the life of the head village and his accomplices.

The head village's son is digging a grave for his sister
Looks like a coffin is buried here.
So where's the hole dug by the head village's son?
Huang Liang (Cheng Lei) - not sure what was his connection to Lu Fang, but he called Lu Fang his "young master" - broke into the magistrate's house to free Lu Fang from jail. The magistrate's daughter sent her maid to help Huang Liang because Huang Liang didn't know the location of the jail. Huang Liang said to the maid: "They are coming, I'll stop them. You go to rescue Mr. Lu." I failed to understand why Huang sent the maid to jail with this task. It can be guessed that the maid died in her errand.

Huang Liang said to the maid,
"They are coming. I'll stop them. You go to rescue Mr. Lu."
Lo Lieh played Mr. Yan, the magistrate's bodyguard who actually hated doing dirty works. Yan also helped Lu Fang to escape. Lu Fang escaped and went back to the mill. Why he didn't went somewhere else? - so the magistrate's men couldn't find him.

Lu Fang finds out that the wine has been poisoned
The movie ended well, with the good won against the bad.

Huang Liang finds the petition in a stream.
The head village must have used a permanent ink.
However, Yan's lover died, Lu Fang and the magistrate's  daughter didn't become a couple (they loved each other but she betrayed her father in order to help Lu Fang. I guess she felt guilty for being unfilial and therefore couldn't take Lu Fang as her husband), and Huang Liang died and broke a woman's heart.

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